Last year, we got put on to SOM via their dreamy, Deftones-y song "Youth // Decay," and Revolver HQ has liked just about everything they've done since. Comprised of past and present members of Caspian, Junius and Constants, the group make shoegazy post-metal that's as pretty as it is towering, and we're psyched to be premiering the video for their new song, "Center," that lands right in the middle of their icy-hot sweet spot. Taken from the band's upcoming LP, The Shape of Everything (out January 21st via Pelagic Records), the song recalls bands like Hum and Nothing with its huge riffs and sweet, ethereal vocals, and the video captures that energy with a dramatic love story. Watch and listen above via YouTube.
"Center was an extremely special song to respond to cinematically," director Samia Zaidi tells us."The heavy and hopeful way it oscillates between these really big sweeping melodies, deep digging rhythms, and these incredibly vulnerable vocals and lyrics, it wastes no time grabbing you by the heart and taking you on an epic journey. It's so human and relatable — we've all had these do-or-die moments when you find yourself pleading with loved ones or god or circumstance. It needed to be paired with something equally big, high stakes, and intimate. I knew immediately that this song was meant to pair with a love story, however the depth of the song required more complexity.
"The cinematic approach was heavily inspired by the dynamism of the song itself," Zaidi continues. "The narrative was based on a true story told with the blessing of the couple it was inspired by, plus a classic Bollywood film I loved growing up, and just a touch of Bonnie and Clyde. I wanted to share this story because it was grounded in a real life example of how it's not only possible to find the fields beyond our differences, but valuable to do so. Given our modern reality where our variance is intentionally used to divide us instead of celebrated, I thought we could use a little hope. The human condition is universal. Love is universal."
"'Center' was one of the first songs we worked on as a band remotely during lockdown," adds SOM vocalist-guitarist Will Benoit. "The vocals were originally written for another project that ultimately got shelved, but I really liked what I had come up with and couldn't just leave them on a hard drive to die. The chorus has this anthemic, almost pop hook, but if you read the lyrics and look under the hood, the song is much darker. I love songs that present themselves one way on first listen, but can take you somewhere completely different the more you pay attention. I felt like there was room on The Shape of Everything to explore a slightly different tone like this one, but outside the vocals, I honestly had no vision for where it could be taken musically."
He continues, "So we tried an experiment: can the band write music around an existing vocal? Particularly in a time when we couldn't all be in the same room anyway, it seemed like a good time to try out a different approach. I sent the isolated vocal tracks to everyone on top of a simple drum beat. Joel and Justin went back and forth developing the instrumental melodies and dynamics until we settled on this big dirging riff that really only changes to make the verses drive harder. Mike added lush, drippy guitars over the top and brought the whole thing to life. It took a lot of Zoom calls and sending flles back and forth, which probably made this the most challenging song to finish on the album — both lyrically and musically — but it's heavy, it's pretty, and it accomplishes a lot of what I hope to accomplish with SOM all inside of a four-minute song."